- Fruit family: family with the larger amount of aroma, also the most developing family among white and older rums. This family consists mostly of small aromatic molecules called esters, alcohols or aldehydes of low molecular weight, which are very volatile and are easily perceptible by the sense of smell. Evolution from white to aged rum allows us to detect 6 subfamilies:
- 1* Citrus fruits (lemon, mandarin, orange, grapefruit…)
2* Exotic fruits (pineapple, banana, mango, passion fruit…)
3* Cooked fruits (marmalade, jam, fruit paste, jelly…)
4* Fruit alcohols (brandy, kirsch…)
5* Dry fruits (figs, plums…)
6* Nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, coconuts…)
- Floral family: floral notes also come from very small molecules, mainly aldehydes divided into 4 subcategories:
1* Orange flower (neroli, lemongrass, orange blossom…)
2* Medicinal flowers (linden, hawthorn, verbena…)
3* Honey (acacia, honey, sugarcane, reed flower…)
4* Herbal family Herbal notes are the most frequently represented by dry herbs (tea, hay).
- Spice family: With spicy notes (pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla…) we deal with heavier molecules, which are more difficult to smell with the nose. Mostly we find them in old rums.
- Balsamico family: this family represents camphor, eucalyptus or resin notes. They are very large aromatic molecules with a very low profile of perception.
- Empyreumatic family: in this case, we come across heavy molecules with 3 subcategories:
1* Roast (coffee, mocha, chocolate…)
2* Roasted/burnt (toasted bread, burnt sugar, molasses, burnt wood…)
These families come from thousands of chemical molecules. Every stage of rum production is responsible for evolution some of those molecules and it gives final outcome by combining different raw materials and production techniques for our rums.
This also allows us to define three aroma families, which represents which represent rum shortages caused by problems during production, poor fermentation or incorrect temperature during distillation.
- Chemical family: Referring to a chemical memo, when rum is oxidized during aging, it contains notes of solvent, ether or oxidized apple. We can also detect an undesirable metallic aftertaste, due to insufficient cleaning of the columns.
- Phenolic notes: (ink, phenols, paint …) derived from very high distillation in the column are most often seen as defects, but they can also be the desired result.
- Sulfite family: sulfite notes. These molecules are very heavy and must be extracted to a very high degree to remove them from the distillation column. We can find them in rum that has been stored in the barrel for too long. We can recognize these notes by their unpleasant smell, like boiled vegetables, garlic or rot.
- Fermentation family: these notes are created only as a result of fermentation problems and we can classify them into four subfamilies
1* baked goods (bread…)
2* lactose (milk, butter…)
4* butyric (stale, overly ripe fruits…)